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Thursday Final Nationals: Considerable Year-to-Year Erosion for College Football Playoff Semifinals on ESPN

ABC repeats usual dominance on New Year's Eve in late night

The top ratings performer on New Year’s Eve — as usual on every New Year’s Eve since the 1970’s — is “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” in late night from New York’s Times Square as the clock struck midnight on the East Coast.

In prime time, a new ratings winner emerged: ABC’s fellow Disney partner ESPN with their college football playoff semifinal doubleheader: the “Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Oklahoma”, then the “Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State”.

On the surface, ESPN was a juggernaut relative to other New Year’s Eve programming, as it nearly doubled ABC (its closest competitive network) in total viewers and adults 18-49.

However, the shift from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve for the playoff games proved costly. Compared to the year-ago semifinals’ total viewership which took place on Jan. 1, 2015, the late afternoon contest fell 45 percent while the evening matchup had a 34 percent drop.

 

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Thursday, December 31, 2015
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 4.7/9 9445 2.2/11 2.8/11 3.3/10
8:00 Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (s) 4.1/8 8132 1.8/8 2.3/9 2.8/9
9:59 Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (s) 6.0/12 13015 3.1/15 3.9/14 4.5/14
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.3/5 3940 0.4/2 0.6/2 0.9/3
8:00 Big Bang Theory (r) 3.8/7 6016 0.6/3 1.0/4 1.7/5
8:31 Life in Pieces (r) 2.3/4 3785 0.4/2 0.7/2 1.0/3
9:01 Mom (r) 2.1/4 3267 0.3/1 0.5/2 0.8/3
9:30 2 Broke Girls (r) 1.8/4 2845 0.3/1 0.5/2 0.8/2
10:00 Elementary (r) 1.8/4 2815 0.2/1 0.5/2 0.6/2
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.6/5 4795 0.7/3 1.0/4 1.4/4
8:00 Toast to 2015 (s) 2.8/6 4777 0.7/3 1.0/4 1.4/4
10:00 New Year’s Eve Game Night with Andy Cohen (s) 2.1/4 3718 0.8/4 1.0/4 1.3/4
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 1.5/3 2629 0.7/3 0.9/3 1.1/3
8:00 Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution (s) 1.5/3 2629 0.7/3 0.9/3 1.1/3
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 0.5/1 838 0.2/1 0.2/1 0.3/1
8:00 iHeartRadio Music Festival (r) 0.5/1 838 0.2/1 0.2/1 0.3/1
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 0.9/2 1620 0.6/2
7:00 Premio Lo Nuestro 2015 (s) 0.6/1 1097 0.3/1
8:00 Feliz 2016 (s) 0.8/2 1536 0.5/2
10:00 Feliz 2016 (s) (thru 12:30am) 1.0/2 2065 0.8/3

Sub-Demo Breakdowns – Thursday 12/31/15

ABC’s “Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (8pm) (Women 18-34: 2.0/9; Men 18-34: 1.5/7; Women 18-49: 2.6/9; Men 18-49: 2.0/8)

ABC’s “Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (9:59pm) (Women 18-34: 3.7/16; Men 18-34: 2.6/13; Women 18-49: 4.4/16; Men 18-49: 3.5/13)

NBC’s “Toast to 2015” (Women 18-34: 0.7/3; Men 18-34: 0.6/3; Women 18-49: 1.2/4; Men 18-49: 0.8/3)

NBC’s “New Year’s Eve Game Night with Andy Cohen” (Women 18-34: 0.8/4; Men 18-34: 0.7/3; Women 18-49: 1.1/4; Men 18-49: 0.9/3)

Fox’s “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” (Women 18-34: 0.9/4; Men 18-34: 0.5/2; Women 18-49: 1.0/4; Men 18-49: 0.7/3)

ESPN’s “Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Oklahoma” (Women 18-34: 2.56; Men 18-34: 4.90; Women 18-49: 3.04; Men 18-49: 6.37)

ESPN’s “Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State” (Women 18-34: 3.29; Men 18-34: 5.06; Women 18-49: 4.21; Men 18-49: 6.83)

CNN’s “New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin” (Women 18-34: 0.31; Men 18-34: 0.28; Women 18-49: 0.44; Men 18-49: 0.46)

Cable Rankings – Thursday 12/31/15
What follows are the top 20 most-watched shows in prime time on cable for Thursday, December 31:


  1. “College Football Playoff: Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Clemson” (ESPN, 8:20-11:31 p.m., 9.60 household rating, 5.51 adults 18-49 rating): 18.552 million

  2. “College Football Studio” (ESPN, 8:08-8:20 p.m., 9.54 household rating, 5.45 adults 18-49 rating): 18.090

  3. “College Football Studio” (ESPN, 8:01-8:08 p.m., 8.91 household rating, 5.07 adults 18-49 rating): 16.764

  4. “College Football Playoff: Orange Bowl Classic: Clemson vs. Oklahoma” (ESPN, 4:10-8:01 p.m., 9.05 household rating, 4.70 adults 18-49 rating): 15.640

  5. “WWE SmackDown” (Syfy, 8 p.m., 1.00 household rating): 1.658
  6. “New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin” (CNN, 8 p.m.-12:38 a.m., 0.94 household rating, 0.45 adults 18-49 rating): 1.623

  7. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:30 p.m.): 1.389

  8. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10:30 p.m.): 1.298

  9. “Liv and Maddie” (Disney Channel, 8 p.m.): 1.256

  10. “Jessie” (Disney Channel, 8:30 p.m.): 1.244
  11. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10 p.m.): 1.193

  12. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9 p.m.): 1.187

  13. Movie: “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ” (2003) (TNT, 8 p.m.): 1.177

  14. “American Pickers” (History, 9 p.m.): 1.153

  15. “American Pickers” (History, 10 p.m.): 1.140
  16. “American Pickers” (History, 8 p.m.): 1.124

  17. “Caribbean Life” (HGTV, 10 p.m.): 1.120

  18. “Caribbean Life” (HGTV, 10:30 p.m.): 1.075

  19. “Caribbean Life” (HGTV, 9:30 p.m.): 1.055

  20. “Liv and Maddie” (Disney Channel, 10:30 p.m.): 1.030

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

Written by Douglas Pucci

Douglas Pucci (a.k.a. “Son of the Bronx”) has worked with Mr. Berman for more than a decade. A Bronx native, NYU graduate and once-intern for VH1's "Pop Up Video," Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He also contributes to the sports website Awful Announcing.

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  1. FROM CBS

    “THE BIG BANG THEORY” SETS NEW TELEVISION RECORD FOR THE LARGEST LIVE +7-DAY VIEWER LIFT

    The Dec. 17 Broadcast Featuring Sheldon and Amy’s Big Romantic Night
    Adds +7.18 Million Viewers With L+7

    CBS Has Nine of the Week’s Top 10 Programs in Viewer Lift and
    All of the Top 10 in Adult 18-49

    CBS Moves Into First for the Week in Adults 18-49

    THE BIG BANG THEORY set a new television record for the largest live + 7-day viewer lift, adding +7.18 million viewers, breaking the prior record of +6.95m for the series premiere of “How to Get Away With Murder” on Sept. 25, 2014.

    THE BIG BANG THEORY’s Dec. 17 episode, featuring Sheldon and Amy romantically moving their relationship forward, increased +42% from its live + same day average (24.43m from 17.25m), making it the season’s most-watched episode of a scripted program.

    THE BIG BANG THEORY’s +7.18 million viewer lift alone was greater than the total L+7 audience for 58 of the week’s 85 primetime broadcasts.

    For the week ending Dec. 20, CBS had nine of the week’s top 10 programs in viewer lift and all of the top 10 in adults 18-49, also paced by THE BIG BANG THEORY with a gain of +2.9 ratings points, a +71% increase from live + same day (7.0 from 4.1). THE BIG BANG THEORY’s adults 18-49 lift would rank as the week’s #10 program in L+7 viewing.

    For the week, CBS gained +0.6 in adults 18-49 (+33% from live + same day) and moved ahead of NBC (2.4 vs. 2.2).

    • Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks (Nickelodeon, 12/31 6:00-6:30 p.m.) 1.276 million viewers

      Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks (Nickelodeon, 12/31 6:30-7:00 p.m.) 1.309 million viewers

      Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks (Nickelodeon, 12/31 7:00-7:30 p.m.) 1.280 million viewers

    • Teen Titans Go (Cartoon Network, 12/31 7:00-7:30 a.m.) 712,000 viewers, 0.3 adults 18-49 rating

      Teen Titans Go (Cartoon Network, 12/31 7:30-8:00 a.m.) 847,000 viewers, 0.3 adults 18-49 rating

      Amazing World of Gumball (Cartoon Network, 12/31 9:00-9:30 a.m.) 1.243 million viewers, 0.2 adults 18-49 rating

      Amazing World of Gumball (Cartoon Network, 12/31 9:30-10:00 a.m.) 1.253 million viewers, 0.2 adults 18-49 rating

  2. Visitors requesting ratings are only allowed a MAXIMUM of TWO shows per query. You cannot make additional requests until the prior ones you had made are addressed.

    With the exception of broadcast network half-hours, time-block requests will not be answered. Requests also won’t be fulfilled for a network’s show rankings nor telecasts of marathons longer than two-hour periods.

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  3. What are the ratings for Nick at Nite movie aired at 9PM-11:30PM please? That movie is called Zookeeper.